The 21st World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems(September 7-11) in Detroit had participation from thousands of delegates from more over 65 countries showcasing the latest developments in all aspects of high-tech transportation. “We are on the cusp of an incredible transformation in the way we get around from Connected Vehicles that reduce the possibility of a crash to vehicles that drive themselves,” said Scott Belcher, President and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the event’s organizer. “This is a critical moment in time and the ITS World Congress brought together the key players who will design the future of transportation.”
Among the leaders, General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced that GM will implement elements of driverless technology in certain 2017 models. Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford reminded attendees that we are living in a special moment in time as the world’s population grows and mobility becomes even more critical. Meanwhile, Verizon Communications Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam suggested that with much of the telematics technology already in place, now is the time to move efforts to implement technology into a higher gear.
The ITS World Congress is the world’s largest transportation technology exhibition and it brings international, national, regional, and local officials together with global transportation innovators, business leaders, investors, researchers, and entrepreneurs with the goal of advancing high-tech solutions to improve transportation safety, efficiency, sustainability, and connectivity.
The event this year featured a Technology Showcase of 32 interactive demonstrations including connected and autonomous vehicles, robotics, and smart infrastructure on Michigan’s Belle Isle while others demonstrated on Detroit’s streets and highways and NextEnergy Center; a 300,000 square-foot Expo Hall in the Cobo Center featuring a live Traffic Management Center, a custom racetrack where students built and competed in connected and electric vehicle contests, as well as an Entrepreneurial Village for emerging transportation startups.
NextEnergy and Chrysler Motors exhibited their solar powered car while the US Department of Transportation showcased its Vehicle-to-Vehicle technology project. Auto majors Honda and Toyota Motors also demonstrated their automated driving assist systems designed to help improve road safety. V2V communication technology could mitigate traffic collisions and improve traffic congestion by sending and receiving basic safety information such as location, speed and direction of travel between vehicles that are approaching each other. The World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems is held in the Americas every third year, rotating with Europe and Asia for the other two. Next year’s ITS World Congress will be held in Bordeaux, France and in 2016, the event will move to Melbourne, Australia before heading to Montreal, Canada in 2017.